Well, it's been a crazy... eleven days here now in the UK. I apologize for starting this post so late since I've been here for so long now, but as any of you that have been following my facebook statuses will know, my laptop decided it was going to be difficult and completely refused to connect to the internet. Thanks to the fact that I have a tech-savvy dad, I'm back online and ready to chronicle a few of the details of my stay here for your reading pleasure. :)
First off, I'd like to say that I feel silly for ever letting myself be so terrified of flying because my entire trip from Little Rock to Liverpool was incredibly pleasant as far as plane rides go, and I'm really pleased with myself for being so brave haha. The first flight out to Atlanta was the worst, I think (plane was the smallest and most cramped of the three) but fortunately it was short and another college student was in the seat next to mine so the hour and a half shot by fast enough with conversation. :) Atlanta's airport is GIGANTIC-it took me about ten minutes to get from my terminal to the next one on foot, but I was definitely welcoming the walk at that point. Its basically like a mall inside, with shops and restaurants everywhere (they even had a sushi bar right next to my gate, I was severely tempted but I settled for McDonalds instead, haha). Layover went by fast enough and at this point I was starting to feel a bit disoriented because the flight left at around 11pm, and since that's usually my bedtime I was ready for some sleep. But as anyone who flies frequently knows, as comfy as the seats can be (or not, depending on what plane your on, MY flight was awesome) sleep is just elusive when you're packed in with other people. Especially if you happen to get behind that one guy who keeps his seat down the entire time. Lucky for me, there were free movies and music involved on this trip, haha.
The flight from Atlanta to Amsterdam took a good eight hours, so when we landed it was bright and sunny afternoon. While I was really too jet-lagged at this point to be able to accurately describe what I thought of Amsterdam, I will say that the airport staff were super friendly and helpful, and that the airport itself was very nice so hopefully at some point during my stay here I'll get to go explore the city for its own sake. But like I said, at that point I was a bit out of it, and even more confused by the fact that every announcement was done in both Dutch and English (pretty sure I was beginning to blur the two together as well.) My final flight was a cityhopper to the Liverpool airport, and since I slept most of the way, I don't remember it much save for the extreme turbulence at first thanks to a nice storm system that was hovering over the Netherlands at the time. I will say, however, that it was incredible to watch as our plane shot up through the clouds and into sunlight, its definitely an experience.
Landing in Liverpool, the part that I had been dreading the most out of the entire journey was coming up-dealing with border control. From the way it had been described on all of my checklists I thought it was gonna be a long ordeal with lots of paperwork, but the man simply asked for my passport and acceptance letter and stamped me right in. And then that was it, I was in the UK. To say I was super relieved in that moment is an understatement.
From that point on being here has been essentially like breathing. The people are incredibly helpful and friendly if you just ask, the city is absolutely beautiful (haven't had much of a chance to take pictures yet, but be ready, they're coming), and though the lifestyle is different, I'm beyond excited to get the chance to study here. My friends and I have made several unsuccessful attempts to explore the city (i.e., we've gotten lost. But we found Starbucks!) so hopefully we'll be better acquainted with it soon, so that we can roam the UK and Europe like pros and not tourists haha.
As far as class goes, the structure is very different from back home in the US; essentially they've given us guidelines and are letting us run with them. I think and hope that this is going to grow my abilities as an artist, as I'm having to think more independently and approach things in an analytical, and almost scientific sort of way. That being said, I can't really give much info about what I'm doing because I don't exactly know what I'm doing yet! haha But as soon as I've started work there will be pictures for that as well. I'll be using my Tumblr for all pics, but don't worry, I'll make sure it's linked to Facebook. :)
I hope everyone's having a good week and enjoying the last few days of Christmas break. Bye for now!